Location: at home
Date Played: January, 2021
Team size: we recommend 2-4
Duration: 8-15 hours
Price: about $50
I really like Enigma Emporium. From the moment that they entered the scene, I found myself taken by the amount of content that they crammed into a few postcards. I’ve also truly respected their sustainable business model. I think what they do makes sense.
It’s with that in mind that I say that Puzzle Postcards Series 2: Cycle of Learning was just ok.
The puzzles were fine, and if that’s what you’re looking for, then I think you’ll find them enjoyable… but this many installments in, it felt like the product line had stalled.
Cohesion & Creative Direction
Each of the 4 standalone envelopes within Puzzle Postcards Series 2: Cycle of Learning had a unique theme. Let’s focus on the most eye-catching of the bunch, Cryptic Cryptids. There was an opportunity to pull us into a story by using the postcards, prose, and puzzles to make something cohesive and distinctive… and that didn’t happen. There was a brilliant concept to work with, but that concept felt more like background noise.
Postcards are an incredibly inexpensive medium to work with. When I look at the price of these puzzles, we are paying for the art, the writing, and the puzzle design. The puzzles were the only portion that carried its weight.
As I said, the puzzles in Puzzle Postcards Series 2: Cycle of Learning were good. Reasonable people could disagree about some of the cluing, but where I really felt let down was that a week after solving these, I couldn’t remember which puzzles went with which installment.
Ultimately, the entire game felt like a puzzle book in loose-leaf form. Another page, another puzzle. And again, that’s not inherently bad… but for the price, this needed more to grab and hold my attention.
I say this knowing that the folks from Enigma Emporium are capable of pushing their products into a cohesive and coherent direction. We’ve seen them do it.
Tips For Players
- Space Requirements: A small table
- Required Gear: An internet-connected device, pen, paper
Buy your copy of Enigma Emporium’s Puzzle Postcards Series 2: Cycle of Learning, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Enigma Emporium provided a sample for review.
Have you stopped doing the Analysis +/?/- section? I really like that section (though I can interpret what the pluses and minuses are…)
Nope, we’re experimenting with some alternative formats.